According to the National Fire Protection Association, 326 deadly barn fires occurred during the period 2013-2017. In 2022 a devastating fire hurt the Indiana Thoroughbred breeding industry when one Indiana farm burned to the ground. Broodmares carrying the dreams of breeders were lost in the fire and the dreams of owners were crushed.
When that fire destroyed the farm that has been vital to the Indiana horse racing industry earlier this year, the owner reached out to Megan Arszman for help in crisis communications and reputation management. Now, Arszman is working alongside the Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance to produce a seminar to help educate all horse and livestock farm owners on what they can do to better prepare and protect themselves from fires.
A barn fire is one of the biggest fears of a horse owner. However, victims of barn fires learn that while they thought they were prepared with insurance and safety measures, it turns out they weren’t.
“In an effort to turn a tragedy into a positive, the ITA wanted to share what has been learned in the aftermath of recent barn fires,” says Arszman. “That’s why we chose the topics that are being covered in this seminar, because so much was learned from the recent fire.”
The seminar, titled “Barn Fires: What You Think You Know, but Don’t”, will be presented on July 16 in the Family Pavilion at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville, Indiana. Arszman and board members worked alongside presenters of the seminar to put together an informative program that gives attendees the most information in an easily digestible nugget.
Discussing the legal ramifications of a barn fire, Peter Sacopulos has specialized in equine and real estate law, amongst other specialties. Sacopulos is familiar with the Indiana horse racing industry, as a member of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and having represented the industry in multiple facets.
The insurance information you didn’t need to know will be presented by horsewoman and insurance expert, Kim Green with Schuetz Insurance Services. Horse owners will learn about emergency triage and what to do with the animals in the midst of the fire with Denise Fletcher. And, finally, member of ATF and horsewoman Cassandra Jones shares tips on what you can do to prevent and battle barn fires.
“This has been a passion project for me and the ITA to help barn owners from all parts of the agriculture industry,” says Arszman. “There was so much devastation earlier this year, and with the story of Kentucky Derby winning trainer Eric Reed recovering from his own fire, I hope this invokes more action and knowledge for everyone.”
The seminar is free and open to everyone, however pre-registration is required. Attendees can pre-register by going to EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barn-fires-what-you-think-you-know-but-dont-tickets-355520159367
Producing and hosting seminars has been an important part of Arszman’s work within the media and marketing industry. With so many important parts that must come together, the award-winning writer appreciates the ability to share knowledge and inspire attendees. Arszman has worked alongside the Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and local 4-H groups to manage and produce in-person seminars and virtual webinars the past five years.
For more information regarding the barn fire seminar or to hire Arszman to help organize an educational event of your own, contact Arszman or visit the MA Communications website: http://meganarszmancommunications.com